Is it fiction, or science fiction?
Perhaps the single most vexing thing I have to deal with as a writer is labels. Let me explain. When I sat down to write Aerodynamic, I saw the whole story in my mind, from beginning to end. A young man who is an avid history buff is taken from his time, and finds himself more than 80 years in the past. Now, aside from a few pages describing his move through a rift into the past, virtually every scene in the book is either historical fiction, or alternate history. But, since 2 of the 400 pages of this book depict time travel, it MUST be labeled "science fiction."
Never mind that there's a poignant love story, with love unrequited, hearts and dreams shattered by a tragic series of events. Never mind that the book is full of wonderful bits of history, events that many of us would give our left arm to have the chance to be there in person and see. My books are science fiction, and that's that, right?
I can only answer that with a single word: "hardly." But, at the same time, I can't ignore the obvious limitations.
Time travel is stimulating, and provides us with unlimited worlds and places in the imagination to explore. Conversely, the label "science fiction" limits and relegates such works to writing's badlands, unceremoniously labeled "science fiction."
So, for the foreseeable future, expect to see a lack of time travel in my stories. My books will carry the simple label: "fiction." Don't worry, the stories will still draw you in, make you laugh, make you cry, and bite a few nails off! There are many readers who love my stories, and I appreciate every one of you, and thank you for buying my books. Stay with me as I move forward into this uncharted territory, where I hope to engage many, many more readers like you.
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From time to time, J.M. will talk about writing here.